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We are thrilled to announce that The Dreamstone, book two in The Dream Keeper Chronicles is now available in audiobook. If have never had the opportunity to listen to an audiobook before, now is your time! An audiobook is a wonderful way to enjoy a book. It brings a level of richness and art to the book you can't get with just words alone.
Dorothy called it Oz, Alice Called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME.
There is a world inside our own,
but we can’t see it when we are
awake—only when we sleep.
It is then we find ourselves in Dreams.
Synopsis for book 1: The Dream Keeper
When an evil shifter takes over the gateway to the realm of Dreams, it falls to 14-year-olds Parker and Kaelyn to stop him. Their only hope lies with Gladamyr, the Dream Keeper, but can they trust a Nightmare to save their world?
Synopsis for book 2: The Dreamstone
When Parker’s mom is dreamnapped by the wicked Mab, it is up to him and Kaelyn to save her. When they return to Dreams, they discover Mab isn’t their only problem. Gladamyr has lost his powers and the only way to get them back is to become what he fears the most—a nightmare.
Check out what people are saying
about The Dream Keeper Chronicles!
“A wild stallion of a story: fast, thrilling, and unpredictable. If this one isn’t a kid-pleaser, I don’t know what is.” ~Michelle Isenhoff, author of the Taylor Davis Series
"I listened to The Dream Keeper on audiobook and absolutely loved it! Anthony Bianco did an outstanding job of bringing each character to life." ~L.R.W Lee, author of The Andy Smithson Series
"My heart hammered and I couldn't tear my eyes away from the page. I felt every emotion the characters did, I laughed, I cried, I felt fear while reading this book." ~Amazon reviewer
"If you like the Percy Jackson, Fablehaven, or the Harry Potter series, you'll love this!" ~Amazon reviewer
Check out this interview
with the narrator, Anthony Bianco!
What have you enjoyed most about narrating The Dream Keeper Chronicles?
Bringing the mythology that Mikey has created to life. There is a sense of innocence, wonder, and possibility on the world of Awake and Dreams. Our dreams are one of the nearest things we still have to magic. And discovering the story has helped remind me to continue to look for the magic in the world around me.
How did you go about finding a distinct voice for each character?
Many times Mikey provided some kind of description of the character that would inform the choices I would make. Age, gender, body size/ shape. I imagine how the voices sound when I am reading and do my best to apply those changes when I get in the booth. I would like to think that all of the choices that I made were informed by the text. I did my best to fully imagine what Mikey created and trust that when he is satisfied with the result I have done my job.
You work as a professional actor; do you find your profession helps you in narrating books?
I find it incredibly helpful. The fact that I am not in front of an audience doesn't make a lot of a difference to me. The act of storytelling is the same no matter what the medium. Many of the skills needed: articulation, breath support, vocal flexibility, emotion (to highlight a few) all come into play when recording. When you are in the booth you have to be hyper aware of every movement and sound. Even though nobody can see what you look like, any extraneous movements can cause sounds which can be picked up by the mic. It is essential to have the physical and vocal awareness to keep those sounds to a minimum. At the same time you can't allow that to keep you from bing expressive and energized when telling the story. It can be a tricky balance sometimes. But the years of training help to balance those factors.
Is there a character in the book you related to the most and why?
I think Gladamyr was the easiest to relate to, even though he is a Dream keeper. I love the tortured heroes. Plus, Gladamyr's powers are the coolest! Many of my favorite fantasy characters have been Shape-shifters or have had an ability similar to Gladamyr. It probably appeals to the actor in me, being able to shift and morph would be like the ultimate costume change.
If you were to dream up a nightmare what would it be?
Absolutely terrifying. Probably something similar to Minion, a monster made from a swarm of spiders. When I have nightmares they are the worst. I am usually being chased by a dark formless, shifting shadow (not unlike Gladamyr now that I think about it). There are always lost of teeth and it is fast; constantly changing throughout the dream. The worst nightmares know when to change and get worse when you think it can get any worse.
Breath, breath, breath. You can't transition from voice to voice without the proper breath support to fuel the instrument. If it sounds smooth it is a combination of quality editing and quality vocal control by the narrator.
How did you become a book narrator? Did anything specific prompt you to undertake this career?
A friend encouraged me to pursue it. He made the transition from actor to narrator full time and thought I would also be good at it. So, he gave me the initial push. I haven't been able to make that transition fully, though. I am still working and audition for gigs in bother careers. As well as working at a coffee shop and doing odd work as a ranch hand and landscaper to make ends meet. I am still at the begging of my narrating career but what has prompted me to continue to pursue it is the flexibility to create my own hours, work from home, and the complete artistic control of the storytelling.
Anthony Bianco is a professional actor living and working in Denver, Colorado. He is a native Oregonian and has been acting and storytelling for the past eighteen years. He received a BFA in Acting with a minor in Shakespeare Studies at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. Anthony then went on to receive is MFA in Acting from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Anthony moved to Denver five years ago and has worked for three seasons with the Denver Center Theatre Company, one season at Colorado Shakespeare Festival and most recently appeared as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.
Mikey Brooks is a small child masquerading as an adult. On occasion you’ll catch him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is the author/illustrator of the best-selling middle-grade series The Dream Keeper Chronicles, The Stone of Valhalla, and The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis. His picture books include the best-selling ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures and Bean’s Dragons. His art can be seen in many forms from picture books to full room murals. He loves to daydream with his three daughters and explore the worlds that only the imagination of children can create. Mikey has a BS degree in English from Utah State University and works full-time as a freelance illustrator, cover designer, and author. As a member of the Emblazoners, he is one of many authors devoted to ‘writing stories on the hearts of children’ (www.emblazoners.com). You can find more about him and his books at: www.insidemikeysworld.com
Check out the books!
The Dream Keeper
Check out this interview
with the author, Mikey Brooks!Question: Tell us a little about your “real” (non-writing) life — family, job, church life. Does it give you inspiration for your writing? Does it get in the way of your writing, or are there times when you get help from people or circumstances?
Answer: I am the daddy of three princesses. So my life is a blur of pink sequins and purple lace. If you look closely I do in fact sparkle, and it’s not because I am a vampire. I have a wonderful wife who is my mentor, editor, proof reader, and constant companion. I use her first name as my last name (I go by a pen name) because she does so much for my writing I have to include her somehow. I work fulltime as an author and freelance illustrator. I have two callings in my church. I am the Stake historian. Which means I get to collect all the histories throughout the various congregations in my area and compile them into an Annual History that is then kept at the church’s History Library in downtown Salt Lake City. I am also a Sunday School instructor. My family and my church callings do help me with my role as a writer. I get tons of inspiration and support from my girls. My callings at church help me study old stories from the scriptures (which help inspire other stories) and being a historian helps me keep up to date on my editing skills.
Question: Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
Answer: I love spending time with my daughters. We could do just about anything and I would be happy as long as they were happy. My favorite game to play is what we call Imagination. We turn the couch in the living room into whatever we imagine (say an airplane, rocket ship, pirate ship, or submarine) and go on make believe adventures. I also enjoy reading to them every night before bed. Right now were on #16 of the Magic Tree House books. Once they’re in bed I enjoy snuggling up with my wife and watching a tragically sappy chick flick.
Question: Since you have several books out, tell us what you think works for promotion. What are your thoughts on ebooks versus print books and different ways to let people know about you and your books?
Answer: My books are a little different than the average writer. I have a very small market. My books are for kids. I can only do so much online stuff to catch the kids’ attention. When I do online marketing I try to target parents of tweens, teachers, and librarians. What works best for children’s authors, like me, is making a mark in schools. I sell more physical books at signings than eBooks online. I think it’s because I can interact better with the kids who then go hit up their parents for the cash.
Question: Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
Answer: As an author I get to participate in lots of writer conference presentations and panels. When on those I try to share my experience in my path to publication. I want people to know that no one else can write their book except them. So often as writers we get discouraged. I try to help lift others up. One day after I shared my experiences on a panel I had one of the attendees tell me I had helped them decide NOT to give up on their dream of publishing a book. That meant a lot to me and helps me remember to pay it forward and continue to help others.
Question: Tell us about your newest book. Make us want to read it.
Answer: The Dreamstone is the exciting continuation of The Dream Keeper. In the first book 14 year old Parker and Kaelyn had to stop a nightmare from taking over Dreams and coming into our world. They team up with a dream keeper named Gladamyr who is himself a reformed nightmare. In this adventure they have to return to Dreams to save Parker’s mom who has been dreamnapped by the evil Mab.
If you have ever wondered why we dream this series is for you. Dreams is a place. We all go there, but don’t see it how it really is . . . until now. Dorothy called it Oz, Alice called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME.
Question: What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
Answer: Each book I write seems to gain its own theme. For the Dream Keeper Chronicles what stands out is the idea of being true to yourself no matter the cost. I hope that readers, especially kids, learn that we are not all created equally—we’re all different and supposed to be different. So often we are expected to fix in some kind of social norm. And sometimes to “fit in” we choose to hide who we truly are. I hope that kids can learn they can be themselves and still “fit in”.
Question: What is your current WIP?
Answer: I am currently finishing up the last book in The Dream Keeper Chronicles: The Dream Makers. This is the exciting conclusion of the series and it will surprise you what happens. I don’t want to give away too much but know that Parker and Kaelyn will come face to face with the scariest nightmare ever created: Mares.
I also have a fantastic book coming out next week called The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis. This is part of a six book series all written by different authors. It’s about a secret magical society trying to save their world from destruction. In my book a 13 year-old boy name Talon discovers he is the key to saving Atlantis and he sets off an adventure that will lead him to the famous Bermuda Triangle to face Atlantis’ evil villain Phoibos. These books are filled with mermaids, nymphs, giants, banshees, and tons of magic. I am thrilled they are coming out soon.
Question: How many books do you have out? Are you planning a specific number altogether, either in this series or separately?
Answer: I have two books out in The Dream Keeper Chronicles. The third, The Dream Makers, comes out in the fall. It will be the final book of the trilogy; however, I have had fans ask me to write a prequel which I just might do. I have a middle grade fantasy-adventure standalone called The Stone of Valhalla which has been on Amazon’s bestselling list since it came out in April of this year. I have The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis coming out next week (July 29). I also have several picture books available that I author/illustrated including ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures, also an Amazon bestseller.
Question: Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
Answer: I use a lot of the personalities of people around me in my characters. I also put a lot of myself in them. In The Dream Keeper you’ll find a lot of my childhood nightmares are the same ones that Parker and Kaelyn have to fight. I like that they are courageous enough to stand up to them. When I was their age I don’t know if I could have been as brave.
Question: What are your future projects?
Answer: Once I finish up The Dream Makers I will push a little harder in securing an agent for my super fun middle-grade book The Witches of Roosevelt Elementary, which just won 1st place in my chapters’ League of Utah Writers Writing Competition. It’s a fun story about two kids that discover their parents are keeping a huge secret from them: they are witch hunters. When their parents go missing, witches invade their school disguised as glamorous lunch ladies.
After I get that one squared away I plan on working on my first ever middle-grade steampunk novel. It should be quite the adventure. I have been brewing over the story idea for too long and can hardly wait to get started.
Mikey Brooks is a small child masquerading as an adult. On occasion you’ll catch him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is the author/illustrator of the best-selling middle-grade series The Dream Keeper Chronicles, The Stone of Valhalla, and The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis. His picture books include the best-selling ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures and Bean’s Dragons. His art can be seen in many forms from picture books to full room murals. He loves to daydream with his three daughters and explore the worlds that only the imagination of children can create. Mikey has a BS degree in English from Utah State University and works fulltime as a freelance illustrator, cover designer, and author. As a member of the Emblazoners, he is one of many authors devoted to ‘writing stories on the hearts of children’ ( www.emblazoners.com ). You can find more about him and his books at: www.insidemikeysworld.com
You are welcome to follow Mikey on all of his social media sites:
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